Friday, May 20, 2005

Three-Cheese Baked Macaroni

Three-Cheese Baked Macaroni (Adapted from Emeril and Everyday Food)

8 ounces multi-grain (I use Barilla Plus) elbow macaroni
3 slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2" thick pieces
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 large eggs
12 ounces canned evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
pinch fresh grated nutmeg
6 ounces (about 1 1/2 cup) shredded sharp white cheddar
2 ounces (about 1/2 cup) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 1/2 ounces (about 1/3 to 1/2 cup) fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, stir in pasta and cook a couple minutes short of al dente, about 6 to 8 minutes depending on brand. Drain well and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, add bacon and place over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until the bacon is crisp, about 8 to 10 minutes. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook macaroni 6 minutes (it will be undercooked). Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer bacon mixture using a slotted spoon to a paper-towel lined plate.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and evaporated milk. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, cayenne, nutmeg, cheeses and two to three teaspoons bacon fat, if desired. Stir in cooked pasta and the cooked bacon and garlic mixture. Scoop mixture into an 8" or 9" baking dish coated with nonstick spray, spreading smooth with an off-set spatula. Place dish into the oven and bake until the sauce is bubbling at edges, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove and place on a wire rack to cool for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Makes about 4 to 6 servings.

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